Olive fields by Noreen

Olive fields by Noreen
Mysterious, primordial world

Monday, 26 April 2021


There are some garden jobs which are a bit daunting and therefore get put to the end of my to do list.
One such job was a rather large Euphorbia.  I have had them in my garden for years.  

They keep seeding and I pot them up and donate to charity plant sales.
One of these seedings grew in my sunny part of the garden and as it grew it blocked out light from other plants. Being away in Turkey for so many years I noticed a huge difference in it when we moved back to Ireland.
With the improvement in the weather and warm April days I decided to cut it back.  This I did and was left with a huge stump.  I dug away the soil as much as I could but there was no budge in the roots.

Two days later and more digging and still no budge. 
My sister Ber said she would come armed with a crowbar and we would stay at it until it came out.
She arrived next day prepared for work dressed in her gardening clothes and we set to work.  She reminded me to take breaks stretching our backs and doing spinal exercises as we went.
The crowbar was good. It got in under the roots where the spade would not go.  
.............to be continued.......photos to follow

Monday, 12 April 2021


The long awaited day has come at last.  12th April,  we can travel beyond the confines of our local towns beyond the 5km limit and all around our own county.  All children are back to school today and residential construction has been given permission to open. We can meet people from one other household in their gardens while keeping our 2m distance.   This means I can visit  my sister and my friends at last!  We will do this gradually because everyone is planning meet ups this week and we don't want to overlap.
The vaccine roll out has been ramped up in Ireland and across Europe.  We are looking forward to getting vaccinated but this is not without stress due to The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac)  recommending limiting the use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to the over-60s, following reports of some rare blood clotting events among younger people. A month ago they stopped giving it to the over 70's but then changed this recommendation again.
We don't know if we will have a choice of vaccination but will have to wait and see.

Mr. D. was looking out the kitchen window yesterday when he spotted an unusual visitor!  He called out to me 'Quick! there is a ginger cat in the garden, 'quick before he goes away!' 

I was still in my slippers but made my way quickly to the garden.   Mr. D. knows how much I love cats and have been missing having them in our lives. We took care of 2 kittens at the end of last year but haven't had any since due to the strict lockdown.
There in the garden was this most beautiful cat.  I recognised him immediately.  He belongs to one of the neighbours somewhere on the road behind ours.

He first came to our garden around two years ago when he was still a kitten.  I've never fed him but he just loves humans. Then last summer he came by on two separate occasions.  He would quickly make himself at home in our garden.  He would sit on my lap purring.   

So yesterday after not having seen him for almost a year,  I was delighted to see this beautiful happy cat again.  He is obviously well loved and cared for by his owners.  His coat is smooth and shiny and I can see he is well fed.  I lifted him up into my arms and said hello.  He sat on my lap on the patio for ages. When he got down eventually, I did some gardening chores while he checked in and out between pots and plants.  He sat in the sunshine and watched me while I worked.  Then he left.  Well it was lunchtime.  I hope he visits again soon.  He made my day!


Tuesday, 16 March 2021


The weather forecast is good for the next 3 to 4 days. There is a high pressure over Ireland which is going to keep our skies clear therefore wall to wall sunshine.  Hurray!!!!
I woke to the sunlight penetrating the curtains.  I couldn't wait to get up.  Not usual for me these past few months!
After a lazy breakfast I set about doing some chores. While carrying a machine load of washing out to the line I heard the birds happily chirping.  I gazed at the cloudless blue sky. It felt like being in Turkey again.  After I pegged the clothes I watched them gently floating in the light breeze. They would bask for the day in the glorious sunshine. 
After lunch Mr. D and I drove to our local forest.  
We took a leisurely walk admiring the beauty of nature as we chatted.  A solitary fisherman stood on the riverbank.

The trees looked stunning with dappled sunlight filtering through the edge of the long forest which stretches by the river.

We sat for a while and just took in the beauty that surrounded us. 

Thursday, 11 March 2021


I liked painting this scene.  It's one I painted at my art group when I lived in Turkey. Painting together with a group of friends in such a relaxed and beautiful setting was absolutely wonderful.   We would bring homemade cake and have tea and a chat before setting up our easels. Then as we eased ourselves into our painting the chatter died down and the creativity began.

There are some beautiful silver birch trees in our local park here in Cork, Ireland. During the autumn the colours are at their best and I felt inspired to do another autumn scene.

Friday, 5 March 2021


We are into a new year and still under level 5 of this our third national lockdown. It began on 31st December and is set to continue at this level until 5th April when it will hopefully be reduced to level 4 or even level 3.   Life goes on.
The days melt into weeks.  Unfortunately too many people met up with families and friends over Christmas and the new variant of the virus has spread like wild fire. There were days when the number of cases were over 8,000 in a day and that was without contact tracing being done.  They simply hadn't the resources at that stage.
 We waited and waited for news of a reduction in Covid figures. Eventually in February the numbers started to decrease but then hit a plateau by end of February.  Some people refusing to obey the rules.  They won't wear masks and continue to have parties.  It is very frustrating for the majority of people who have stuck to the rules since march 2020. 
 The weather has been very wet and also very cold.
Mr D and I continue to take our afternoon walk.  We mostly walk by the river which is part of a very big park near our home here in Cork Ireland. 

 Since everyone in the town has the same idea it is quite a busy location. The park is spread out and there are many areas with trees where we can avoid passing too many walkers and joggers.  

It's difficult to keep finding new projects to keep oneself busy but today I decided to tackle my beloved reading chair.  I bought it originally for my mother.  She rightly said our chairs were either too soft or too low and she wanted something comfortable to relax in when she came to visit. I now use this chair when I'm reading and it's a great chair. Since it's a bit dated I thought I would brighten it up with  bright paint and new cushion covers.  Today I made a start.  I took it outside and gave it a good sanding.  Next I applied a light coat of lime green spray paint.               

It will look better when the cushions are back on.

I need to make new covers for the cushions.
I have a vision in my head of a lovely bright floral pattern.  Maybe next month the shops will reopen and I will be able to complete the project.

Meanwhile I will get back to my little studio. A painting is waiting to be finished.



Thursday, 4 March 2021

Autumn and Winter 2020 Ireland

Sorry for being so very late publishing this post.  I had a major problem with my electronic equipment.  We were fostering 2 kittens when  I managed to drop my phone and two tablets. Not the cat's fault!  I absentmindedly left my devices on the arm of my chair on more than one occasion!!  The kittens were doing what kitten do,  jumping from the coffee table to my arm to climb and play when there was a sudden crash....O crumbs! another device smashed.  

My laptop came out in sympathy deciding to go really slow and despite my nephew inserting new storage into it, it still wouldn't open my emails.  My phone is ok but too small to work on.   On rare occasions I have been using Mr. D's tablet but I have been warned not to use it when cats are in residence. 

The guilty parties ...........................

We are still making sure to get out for our daily walks.  The woods are beautiful especially in the autumn .

The trees in the park get more beautiful every year.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Pandemic Covid19 The first six month Mar to Aug 2020

Our style of living, our life  has changed since March 2020.  For the first month there were no cars on the road.  What a strange sight it was. There was an eerie silence when I opened a window or went outside to walk.

We were instructed by our government to stay home with the exception of travel to supermarkets for food or to a pharmacy for medication. No one could travel beyond 2 kilometers for exercise.  All other shops were closed.   Fasle news quickly circulated on social media of  food supplies running out. 

The supermarkets became very busy in the first two weeks as many people panicked and stockpiled.  Supermarket shelves quickly emptied and suppliers were working 24 hours to keep up with demand.  Supermarkets hired more staff and people stood outside in ques keeping 2 meters apart.  The government had to reassure everyone that there was no shortage of food, warehouses were full and we should shop as normal, the shelves would be restocked! It took about six weeks but people calmed down and did not continue to stockpile.

Young people volunteered to do shopping for the elderly in their area. We were lucky because a young neighbour did a weekly shop for us until my online order was eventually delivered three weeks after I first placed the order and even then many items were not delivered because the supermarket just didn't have them.  Flour was hard to get because with so many people unable to go to work,  they kept busy at home by baking and doing DIY jobs.  Everyone was staying at home   It felt like we were all living in a parallel universe.  Children were not allowed to visit grandparents. We didn't see any family members because they all live beyond the  two kilometer zone. The whole world was in this together. An unknown virus was killing doctors and frontline staff and they struggled to keep up with the demands. They watched from behind their masks and gowns helplessly as patient after patient slipped away without a family member at their side. The nation and the world watched their televisions daily as the death toll rose and the hospitals reached capacity. The scenes on our televisions had us all in floods of tears and a sadness filled our hearts.

We did what we were asked to do.  Many of my neighbours are over 70 years of age and they did not leave their homes at all not even for exercise.  Under 70's were allowed out to exercise which was good for us.  It felt strange when out walking.  People would step out onto the road rather than pass us on the footpath and visa versa.  It was safe to do so due to the absence of traffic.

By mid May the figures had decreased significantly and we were flattening the curve!  People started gradually going back to work but those who could work from home were asked to continue to do so. By June, July and August restrictions had been lifted and we started to live again even though it was far from normal.  We still had to social distance in shops and wherever there were groups of people. 

I went to the hairdressers and got my hair restyled, It felt great! Mr. D still would not take a chance on going to his barber preferring instead to let me trim his hair.  Restaurants and hotel opened up again. Campsites were booked out as many people wanted to get away for a break. Refunds were issued by the airlines because we were still not allowed to travel unless it was absolutely necessary for work reasons,

We could now travel around the country but still had to be mindful that the virus was still being transmitted. From May the allotment opened again and I moved my tomato seedlings to the warm polytunnel. It was great to have somewhere to go at last and we could do day trips to the beach and the forests.

The numbers were very low and plans were being made for schools and colleges  to reopen in September with reduced numbers in classes and work areas to be spaced out to enable students to keep their distance. Summer felt good as the garden bloomed and gave us lots of colour to enjoy.

The plan was good but with no hope of a vaccine, the cloud of Covid stayed with us and we lived and made the best of each day hoping  against hope that we would eventually get to see a light at the end of a very long tunnel........